Chicago Forecast

Timeline: What to Expect and When in Upcoming Snowstorm, Arctic Blast

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

The Chicago area is set to see its third snowstorm in less than two weeks followed by what could be some of the coldest air the region has seen in two years.

But how much snow you'll see and when will depend largely on where you live.

Here's a breakdown of what's in store:

Thursday Morning and Afternoon

A winter weather advisory has been issued for much of the Chicago area beginning at 11 a.m. Thursday.

The advisory continues through noon Friday for McHenry, Lake, DeKalb, Kane, DuPage, Cook, LaSalle, Kendall, Grundy and Will counties in Illinois and Lake and Porter counties in Indiana.

The latest system is expected to start as a light icy mix by the late morning hours for far western counties, transitioning to a mix of rain, freezing rain and snow across the Chicago area. 

The moisture will likely become all snow north of Interstate 80 in the early afternoon. The mix of rain and snow south and in northwest Indiana will become all snow by late afternoon.

The advisory warns snow could become heavy Thursday afternoon and early evening, bringing total accumulations between 2 and 5 inches along with wind gusts of up to 40 mph.

The combination of strong winds and snow could create hazardous travel troubles for afternoon and evening commute.

"Areas of blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility," the advisory warns. "The hazardous conditions will likely impact the Thursday afternoon and evening commute. Pockets of blowing snow could continue to impact the Friday morning commute."

Thursday Evening

Snow tapers quickly to flurries by the late evening hours, leaving behind some accumulation in parts of the area.

Between 2 to 4 inches is possible for central locations and 4 to 5 inches could be left in far northwest counties. Between 1 and 2 inches is expected for southern counties and in northwest Indiana.

As the snow ends, however, it ushers in a brutal, bitter blast.

Friday Morning

Some flurries are possible early Friday but forecasts indicate that the day will otherwise be mostly to partly cloudy, blustery and cold with highs in the low to mid teens and wind chill readings below zero.

Saturday and Sunday

Dangerously cold conditions are set to arrive for the weekend, marking the coldest air of the season so far.

Highs Saturday are set to only reach between 8 and 12 degrees with wind chill readings well below zero.

Some light snow is possible later in the evening, mainly south of I-80.

Overnight lows are expected to drop into the single digits and below zero, with wind chill readings between -10 and -20 degrees.

Sunday will be equally as cold, with highs in the single digits and wind chills well below zero.

Some light snow will again be possible in far southern counties in the evening or at night.

Overnight lows range from 0 to 5 degrees below zero with wind chills between -20 and -30 degrees.

The bitter blast is set to continue at least through the first part of the work week.

Contact Us